The governor of Connecticut has signed into law some of the strongest restrictions on gun ownership in the United States, less than four months after children were slaughtered by a gunman in an Connecticut elementary school.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, signed the bill into law just hours after lawmakers approved it Thursday.
The law adds more than 100 firearms to Connecticut’s list of banned assault weapons, limits the capacity of ammunition magazines to just 10 rounds, and mandates background checks for all gun sales, including at gun shows. The measure also addresses mental health and school safety issues.
The new law was drafted in response to last December’s massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and six adults were killed by a single gunman with an assault-style weapon. The tragedy was the latest in a rash of deadly mass shootings across the U.S. in recent years, reviving a long-simmering national debate on gun control. Two other states, New York and Colorado, have passed strong gun control measures since the Newtown tragedy.
But efforts to pass gun control legislation in the U.S. Congress has run into strong opposition from the National Rifle Association, the powerful gun rights lobbying group. The NRA says such measures infringe on the constitutionally guaranteed right to own guns.
Meanwhile, a new poll said nearly half of American voters believe the government could use information from universal background checks to confiscate legally-owned guns from citizens.
The latest Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday showed 48 percent of those surveyed said the government could use background check data to confiscate legally-owned guns, while 38 percent said that could not happen.
However, the vast majority of voters polled still supported universal background checks, with 91 percent for and only 8 percent against.
Peter Brown, the polling institute’s assistant director, said in a press release Thursday that every Quinnipiac poll since the Connecticut elementary school massacre last year has shown overwhelming support for universal background checks, even among gun owners.
Dec. 14, gunman Adam Lanza killed his mother and went to Newtown’s Sandy Hook elementary school, and shot dead 20 students and six adults before taking his own life.